03/21/2007 11:00PM

San Franciso Mile trimmed to $300,000


Twelve stakes worth $1,150,000 will be offered during the seven-week spring meeting at Golden Gate Fields, which begins April 25.

Included among the stakes is Northern California's only Grade 2 race, the San Francisco Mile, to be run on the opening Saturday of the meet, April 28. The other graded races are the Grade 3 Golden Gate Fields Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Grade 3 Berkeley.

The San Francisco Mile has a $300,000 purse this year, down $100,000 from last year. The $400,000 purse caused great concern last year among local horsemen, who wanted some of that money distributed as overnight purses. The Golden Gate Fields Handicap picks up an extra $50,000 and will have a $200,000 purse this year.

Purses were cut for the Work the Crowd, a California-bred race that went from $100,000 to $75,000, and the Yerba Buena, which lost its Grade 3 status and has gone from $150,000 to $75,000.

Both the Golden Gate Handicap, for 3-year-olds and up, and the Yerba Buena, for fillies and mares, have been lengthened from 1 1/8 miles to 1 3/8 miles on the turf.

"We're trying to reach out and find a niche that wasn't there before," racing secretary Sean Greely said.

The stakes schedule includes sprints for 3-year-olds and older horses, turf routes for 3-year-olds, and a 2-year-old race on closing day, June 10, named for Eclipse Award sprinter Lost in the Fog.

"We tried to put in something for everyone," Greely said. "I think we have balance."